Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 1/22/13
Welcome to the 3rd installment of the new series on MSF, “A Journey into Fútbol Fandom!” If you haven’t already checked out the first two parts of the series, make sure to check them out here! ——— As you’ve read to this point, the early process of getting into fútbol has been in large part learning how to be a fan of the sport with such a unique fan base. It’s been a lot of online research in an attempt to understand how the English (Barclays) Premier League works, the history of the league, and where it’s at today. So with all that out of the way, it quickly became time for me to begin the process of becoming a true club supporter. The LFC Logo As previously laid out, the club I’ve chosen to root for is Liverpool FC … and the past few days have involved a lot of studying up on the historically rich Reds. This is where I caught a bit of a break, as I discovered that FOX Soccer came out with a documentary series on Liverpool titled “Being: Liverpool” (video) just a handful of months ago. And after watching each of the six episodes of the series, I really felt like I’d learned a lot. While it did help me further understand some of the historical aspects of the clubs that I’d already researched, the main two points of emphasis – the supporters and the current state of the club going forward – is what I learned the most about. Here’s a brief crash course on what I’ve retained so far … Liverpool Fandom There are an innumerable amount of traditions tied to being a Liverpool supporter. While I’m still a very long way away from being familiar with all of them, I have identified what I feel to be the biggest three components of LFC fandom. Anfield The most historic aspect of LFC is without a doubt their stadium: Anfield. The stadium that holds over 45,000 spectators has been the Reds’ home since the club formed in 1892. The most notable parts of Anfield are the Spion Kop (referred to below) and the Shankly Gates, named after legendary manager Bill Shankly, who led the Reds out of England’s second league and to prolonged dominance in the Premier League. Atop the Shankly Gates reads “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” the motto of the club for the past 30 or so years. Every match, all of the fans join together to sing the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” as it’s become one of the more notable songs affiliated with the entire world of sports. The Shankly Gates were first erected at Anfield in 1982. Credit: Tim Bradnock Kopties “The Kopties” are what Liverpool supporters are referred to, famously filling up the seats in the Spion Kop section of Anfield for well over 100 years. They’re known as brutal and at times even spoiled fans … but considering how common it is for supporters to stick with the club throughout their entire lifetime, it’d be hard not to be the least bit spoiled considering how much success LFC had a couple decades ago. #JFT96 During the 1989 season, Liverpool saw a huge tragedy that has been called “The Hillsborough Disaster.” Summed up quickly, it was a human crush that tragically killed 96 people at Hillsborough Stadium. Outside of that, it’s fairly indescribable. D espite how many positives Liverpool has throughout its storied history, the Hillsborough Disaster still looms largest, as the 96 families who lost a loved one are still honored in many ways.
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